Sunday, July 5, 2009
So my mum discovered Big Cinemas yesterday- a cinema hall that shows Hindi movies in the appropriate release dates =P. So we went to watch the newly released New York movie (although I rather would have watched My Sister's Keeper, or Transformers). So anyway, I had a lot to say and discuss about it yesterday, but the movie ended at 2 am and the thoughts I have thereafter usually escape me quickly =/
Anyway, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I mean, John Abraham is okay; Katrina Kaif, I felt, was more of a model than an actress, and the Neil Nitin Mukesh dude was new, and I have a habit of underestimating newcomers in Bollywood =)
But no, they weren't so bad actually. I mean, at first, even when they were gallivanting around New York State University showing off all the happiness and friendship in the world to background music (or song rather) and showcasing how prettily they can smile and laugh in slow motion, I was only slightly put off by it - which is amazing because I give up on Bollywood movies easily these days.
Okay, so back to the point (wait, what point?). The movie was actually enjoyable while I watched it- it wasn't a full on suspense/thriller with exaggerated twists (like in Race, for example...blegh)- but it was sufficiently engaging (in comparison). But I realized after the movie that I was pretty confused. I mean, this seemed to be a movie that would end with a moral, or at least hint on one. Okay, maybe "moral" isn't the right word. More like a message that "things are not the way you think they are", or "things will always be the same". But it gave out mixed messages. Ok, first of all, here's what the movie was about (let me try to google it to save the trouble of writing a synopsis)- ok here's one-
""New York" is a contemporary story of friendship set against the larger than life backdrop of a city often described as the centre of the world. For most of us, larger events in the world are just headlines in the newspapers but these events can change our lives... forever. "New York" is one such story of 3 young friends whose beautiful lives are turned upside down by larger events beyond their control."
"The large event beyond their control" is 9/11. One of the friends, Omar, who lost touch with the other 2 friends (Maya and Sam, who're a couple) due to love triangle issues (again, thank god- it wasn't greatly dramatized) is brought back into their friendship by the FBI because they suspect Sam is a terrorist (which is true) and they want Omar to spy on him while remaining their friend.
Anyway, I'm not gonna rant with the details of the movie, but back to the mixed messages- sometimes they say that foreign nationals are still looked upon dubiously, owing to 9/11 and terrorist attacks and such; other times they say that foreign nationals/brown-skinned people are incorporated as equals in the US and given as much importance as US nationals.
I mean, maybe both is true, but then it was weird because the mixed message was coming out of the same Muslim figure who, I suppose in this case, represented the whole of the FBI. Actually, he was pretty steadfast in his thinking- he was a Muslim representing the FBI in trying to capture Sam, the terrorist, except, he wanted to prevent him from doing what he was going to do instead of hold him in detention again and torture him again (the first time, Sam was tortured because he was suspected as a terrorist when he actually wasn't- they did vile things, and this is actually true- urinate on their faces covered with cloth and keeping the cloth on their faces the rest of the day with their hands tied, tying them up with a dog leash, stripping them naked and hanging them from the ceiling- you wouldn't expect these things in America, but they happened, to innocent victims, and it turned them vile and against the Americans. They were creating their own enemies). The fact that he was a Muslim and he was put on this case gave him faith on equality and human rights and what not. But at the same time, they were the people who put innocent people on detention and they were the ones willing to kill him off at the first chance they got.
It's interesting that the movie is being allowed to play here.
But anyway, if this was supposed to be an open-ended film, it still leaves a strange after-taste.
I don't know how I feel about it myself. I mean, I've had extra security checks in airports compared to other people standing in the same line. And it probably is justified. But at the same time, it's not like that at all. It's so confusing.
Maybe that's why I couldn't interpret the movie properly. I wish there were critiques on these movies to help me find a train of thought. Or maybe I'm still an amateur at these things.
But hey, I cannot deny, there were a couple of continuity errors and technical errors in there- even my mom noticed!
I think, this movie draws a few elements from Crash. It even borrowed on the police-officer-feeling-up-a-foreign-lady-passenger scene. In fact, on looking back, that scene was what triggered the rest of the plots in the movie. It angered the man who was driving the car, who was not yet a terrorist, but put through the same torture as suspected terrorists were put through before. He killed the police officer, and there you go- there's your threat. And that's how everything else started.
It kinda goes in a full circle. Which is why the closure of Guantanámo Bay helps. It should break the circle.